Biocapacity Metrics

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Bob Haugen:

" Ecological debt will soon require the economy to heed the laws of thermodynamics and the throughput of energy and materials through its system. How will this adjustment be made?

Rather than monetary value, we need a biocapacity metric which gauges value. This means developing a sustainability budget -- calibrating the input and output of material and energy within an ecosystem -- to rebalance the preservation/production of the primary resources in a geographical area. The replenishment and withdrawal rates of resources would be computed for each ecoregion. This creates a single ratio between biocapacity (i.e., the carrying capacity of Earth in support of its population) and the biolabor of producers who are consumers of their own resources (i.e., the commoning activities of those producing and distributing biocapacity to meet their needs within the resource limits of the planet). This value is then used as the basis for monetary value.

The biocapacity rate allows society to create an economic system based, not on the traditional formula of supply and demand, but on an optimal balance between available resources and social well-being." (email August 2015)